by Joanne Bischof
Publication Date August 31, 2021
Published by Thomas Nelson
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Genres: Family Life, Fiction / Women, Historical, History, Romance
One wild and mysterious ghost town. Two second-chance love stories. And the century-old legacy that binds them together.
Upon arriving in Kenworthy, California, mail-order bride Juniper Cohen is met by the pounding of the gold mine, an untamable landscape, and her greatest surprise of all: the kind and loving man who awaits her. But when the mine proves empty of profit, and when Juniper’s husband, John, vanishes, Juniper is left to fend for herself and her young daughter in the dwindling boomtown that is now her home.
Juniper pens letters to her husband but fears she is waiting on a ghost. Perhaps worse, rumors abound claiming the man she loves could be an outlaw. Surviving in a ghost town requires trusting the kindness of a few remaining souls, including the one who can unlock the mystery of her husband’s disappearance—and Juniper’s survival depends not only upon these friends but also the strength of heart she must fight to maintain.
Present day. Trying to escape the heartache of his failed marriage, Johnny Sutherland throws himself into raising his children and restoring a hundred-year-old abandoned farmhouse in what was once known as Kenworthy, California, in the San Jacinto Mountains. While exploring its secrets he uncovers Juniper’s letters and is moved by the handwritten accounts that bear his name—and as a love story from the past touches his own world, Johnny might discover yet that hope and resilience go hand in hand.
The Gold in These Hills by Joanne Bischof is a beautifully written, historical saga set in two timelines, one in the early 1900s and the other in the present day. This is a story about grief, patience, and forgiveness.
Juniper Cohen and her daughter Bethany, are alone in the town of Kenworthy, California after her husband, John disappeared. The mining town is dying after the discovery the mine had been salted and is not a viable gold mine after all. Juniper’s life is hard and she takes in laundry from the remaining townsfolks as she awaits word from her husband, who suddenly disappeared after the discovery of the salted mine. She has a friend, Edie, who runs the mercantile and eventually takes on a border, Mrs. Parsons, who was the schoolteacher until the school shut down due to lack of students.
In the present-day timeline, Johnny Sutherland is still reeling from his separation from his wife and their impending divorce. In order to provide a home for their two children and hope for shared custody, Johnny buys an old farmhouse. He discovers historical treasures in the old barn and works to discover the history of the farmhouse.
I sure enjoyed this historical saga. The use of the alternating timelines helped the book’s pacing, however, it did get a bit bogged down in historical details in the middle. But, the ending is very worth it to get to. The characters in both timelines have to deal with grief and learn patience and understanding. This deeply emotional tale will tug at your heart and the characters feel like they are living with you through their journey.
The historical details in the book brought me an understanding of the history of the gold mines in California and the Cahuilla tribe that I never knew before reading this book.
I highly recommend this book to lovers of historical fiction. I received a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
This one sounds really good Wendy. Wonderful review. I just requested it. I love when I learn things reading historical fiction.
Thank you Carla! I love to learn new things too.
This book appeals to me, both for the letter writing in it and the whole mail order bride aspect. I’m glad to see another positive review about it. I have it on my TBR list and can’t wait to read it. 🙂
Thank you Lark, I hope you enjoy it too.
This does sound lovely! I know next to nothing about the Californian Gold Mines, I can tell you bit about the Johannesburg Mines though. (Winky face).
Will take a look at this book, your review was lovely!
Thank you Mareli!
This sounds wondersul. Thanks for your review.
Thank you Debbie, it was pretty good.